Unfinished apartment complex relocates students to Dobie

Eleanor Dearman

After a new apartment complex in West Campus delayed its opening and was unable to open in time for the fall semester, ongoing construction on the Pointe on Rio leaves residents unsure of their housing arrangements come October.

Located on Rio Grande Street, the complex was scheduled to be complete and ready for move in Aug. 16, according to Daniel Gonzalez, international relations and global studies sophomore, who signed a lease at the complex. On July 24, residents received an email from Asset Campus Housing saying the building would not be completed before the start of the fall semester, but it would be finished by Oct. 15 at the latest.

“I signed my lease very late, probably not until March or April,” Gonzalez said. “They told me the apartment would be ready by Aug. 16, and I have a feeling that at that time they understood it wouldn’t be completed by then.”

Chelsea Ebert, a former Pointe On Rio employee and sociology senior, said she quit her job because she felt the management was inadequate and dishonest to customers.

“I knew that the construction wasn’t going to be done on time looking at it,” Ebert said. “It was common sense. When people would come in asking about it, like parents wondering about it, all they would tell us to say is, ‘Yeah, we’re having a construction meeting so-and-so day. It looks like we are going to be complete on time.’”

Toni Tatarevich, a corporate communications senior who signed a lease with Pointe On Rio, said the apartment is still just a frame of a building.

“There’s not any brick on it yet, but, of course, I’m kind of like, ‘How much can you do in two months?’” Tatarevich said. “Obviously, they still have to put in all the appliances and walls, and stuff like that. It makes me a little bit uneasy but also keeping my fingers crossed.”

Heather Cox, an Asset Campus Housing representative, denied to comment on the lack of housing for students. In the email sent to its future residents July 24, Asset Campus Housing outlined two alternative options for housing — stay at the Dobie Center off-campus residence hall or receive a rent abatement worth twice the amount of their daily rent and stay at outside housing. The email did not specify where students would live after Oct. 15 if the complex is still not finished.

Jonathan Pena, a marketing senior who signed a lease at the complex, said he would rather not be living in a dorm but appreciates the management’s accommodations.

“I’m definitely not too happy about being back in a dorm, but the management is being really unselfish,” Pena said. “They’re the ones paying for our dorm here at Dobie. They got us a meal plan to cover 25 meals for us. They got a parking spot here at Dobie.”

According to Ebert, the lease can be dropped on Oct. 15, but, for the time being, she said it is not realistic to cancel the contract.

“The only way they’re letting us out of our lease is if we pay a $500 cancellation fee and then, on top of that, we find someone to sublease our apartment,” Ebert said.

Pena met with the apartment’s management Aug. 27 but said he was still uncertain about if they would be ready in October for move in.

“They’re hoping everything will be ready in time for Oct. 15, but it’s still not really 100 percent sure that it’s going to happen,”